Current materials sciences in space activities in grenoble
The “Laboratoire d’Etude de la solidification” (L.E.S.) in Grenoble is currently in charge of a significant number of various space experiments. They are 13 for the time being belonging to 7 programmes in cooperation with 5 international or national space agencies. It stands to reason that these 13 projects are not concerned with 13 entirely different problems. The six scientific problems that L.E.S. is trying to solve by operating in space conditions were not introduced as new activities, but rather as the best solution to solve many problems that were encountered in the frame of the classical ground-based research activity of this Laboratory. They are: (i) Thermomigration studies in liquid alloys (Sn +εX), (ii) Nucleation of eutectics (Ag-Ge, Au-Si). (iii) Unidirectional solidification of eutectics (Al-Al Cu, Al-Al Ni, Ag-Ge). (iv) Unidirectional solidification of solid solutions (Ge-Si, Al-·Cu, Sn-·Pb, Bi-·Sn, Ge +ε·Ga). (v) Unidirectional solidification of emulsions (Al-In). (vi) Unidirectional solidification of foams (Al-Zn).
Amongst these thirteen projects, three will use or have used rockets, three have used the Salyut-6 equipments, one will be operated as an automatic experiment aboard the Space Transportation System (the Space Shuttle), and the six remaining ones will be realized aboard the European Spacelab. Eleven experiments will use common facilities, one of those the low gradient heating facility (LGHF), being built in Grenoble: this equipment will be used by us in three experiments of the F.S.L.P. (first spacelab payload) and by two other European investigators.
Volume 43, 2020
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